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LRgirl

Travelling To England And Scottland

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Hi,

I am travelling to England/Scottland for eight days in May. This is my first time flying outside of the United States. I am flying from Dulles to Heathrow airport. I have found some restaurants that cater to multiple allergies, however I want to bring back up food to be safe. How much food and what types of food do those of you with strict diets bring with you? Along with gluten, I cannot eat dairy products, eggs, rice, and peanuts. Do you carry the food in a certain type of cooler or container? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much for your help,

Traci

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I would encourage you to call the airline and ask for their assistance in planning this one out - for both ends of the trip. There are so many little regulations that may be difficult to know about, aside from individual policy restrictions on a particular airline, that going to the source directly will probably yield the best results.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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Relax, Traci. Europe is incredibly celiac-friendly - major supermarkets all over the UK will carry gluten-free foods that you can eat safely (They're usually in the Kosher or Free-From aisles). Tesco and Sainsbury's do the best tasting and least expensive stuff, but Mark's and Spencers do some excellent ready meals and such that are gluten-free, and the health-food chain Holland & Barrett (on most high streets) while a bit pricey is full of safe foods, particularly if you can eat corn (I can't). And all of the prepared foods you purchase have to be clearly marked with major allergens (there will be a box on the label by the ingredients that says "Contains:" and lists stuff like gluten, milk, wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, etc). Marks and Spencer is a good place to stop and grab a quick picnic lunch (and their "Simply Food" chains are all over the country) and you can easily get some emergency supplies for dinners that don't go as expected.

On a strict diet, you can't rely on the airline having anything safe for you to eat (some airlines offer a gluten-free meal, but although I fly regularly, I have only found one to date that was actually genuinely gluten-free and the airline often 'forgets' to put one on the plane for you or the flight attendants don't understand and add something to your tray that turns out to be a problem), nor can you rely on getting something gluten-free in the airport itself (although there is a bakery in Heathrow terminal 3 departures. . upstairs from the Virgin check in desks I think. . .outside security that does gluten-free muffins, cookies, and sandwiches alongside its traditional fare).

When I fly long-haul, I board the plane with a dozen home-made muffins, a bag of dried fruit, some cookies or dessert bars, and a half litre bottle of fruit juice (soft drinks and many juice blends now contain high fructose corn syrup so I can no longer rely on being able to get a drink on the plane and it can be nice not to have to rely on the flight attendants for your liquids. . .buy your juice or water inside security though) in my carry on. Some people also take easy-open canned fish or meat for protein. Get a letter from your doctor (on letterhead with his or her contact details) explaining your very strict dietary requirements and the necessity of you having your own food onboard, in case you run into some bull headed security guards (though I've only ever had a problem in LA).

And to make the most of your 8 days (and avoid jet-lag), set your watch to UK time about an hour after you take off, eat a little food and drink a little water or juice every hour or two instead of eating big meals like the airline serves and take a couple of 45 minute naps instead of sleeping a big chunk. I stop in a bathroom on the way to immigration (yes, you do have time, and yes, you'll still beat your bag to baggage claim, and trust me, it helps) to brush my teeth and hair and wash my face (a little spritz of perfume is a nice pick-me-up too) so I'm feeling friendly, human and awake when I get to the long lines, and I save a bit of food to eat while I'm waiting for my bag. (It's a LONG way from Heathrow to London. . .about an hour by tube, two hours by bus or taxi, and even the Heathrow Express only gets you to west London in 15 minutes, and it's then another 15-20 minutes to proper central London. . . trust me, you will want that snack).

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I love going to England - they have the best-tasting gluten free sweets! The Free From brand is amazing. Gluten free is very well labeled there so you shouldn't have as much trouble.

What airline are you taking? I always fly American Airlines, and I'm a little leary of the gluten-free menu. Twice they have given me four-grain crackers - two of the grains being oats and barley! Luckily it was individually wrapped so I could still eat the rest and I've never had trouble with anything else they've given me. My favorite travel food is those magic peanut butter cookies (made with sunflower seed butter - I'm peanut free, too!) Honestly, I could eat one of those and feel so much better. I also bring two sandwiches and an apple, but you have to be careful to eat them before you land. I never bother with a cooler. I only put cheese and lettuce on my sandwich so I figure it won't go bad.


Gluten-Free since September 15, 2005.

Peanut-Free since July 2006.

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I love going to England - they have the best-tasting gluten free sweets! The Free From brand is amazing. Gluten free is very well labeled there so you shouldn't have as much trouble.

What airline are you taking? I always fly American Airlines, and I'm a little leary of the gluten-free menu. Twice they have given me four-grain crackers - two of the grains being oats and barley! Luckily it was individually wrapped so I could still eat the rest and I've never had trouble with anything else they've given me. My favorite travel food is those magic peanut butter cookies (made with sunflower seed butter - I'm peanut free, too!) Honestly, I could eat one of those and feel so much better. I also bring two sandwiches and an apple, but you have to be careful to eat them before you land. I never bother with a cooler. I only put cheese and lettuce on my sandwich so I figure it won't go bad.

I'm flying British airways out of BWI. I love sunflower seed butter! It tastes great! What is the recipe for magic peanut butter cookies? I'd love to make some!

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Sounds like you've been given good advice for the trip and shopping over here.

Maybe someone could add good places to eat out while you're in the Uk. Where are you visiting?

Chains that know about Gluten Free:

La Tasca (Tapas type restaurant found all over UK)

http://www.latasca.co.uk/liststores-1/LOCR/Locations.html

The Pitcher & Piano (Varied menu in some larger cities -Even does gluten free sandwiches)

http://www.pitcherandpiano.com/locations/

TGIFridays (Limited choices-in most major cities)

http://www.tgifridays.co.uk/Nearest-TGI-Fridays

Most National Trust Properties will do a jacket potato.

Debenhams Store have gluten free items which are marked.

Marks & Spencers cafe usually has a muffin or fruit cake (wrapped)

Starbucks coffee shops have gluten free cake but not wrapped

Hope it helps.

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Hi lesley,

Thanks for the links! We'll be going to

London then spend time in Stratford upon Avon - Coventry - York.

Next, Darlington- we spend a night here

Then to Edinburgh Lake District - Chester Area (Runcorn)

Then a stop in Wedgwood then back to London for the end of the trip.

Thanks again,

Traci

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